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Google Predicts the Future with updates to Analytics!

Illustration demonstrating the idea that machine learning helps google predict the future.

Posted on 08/10/2020 at 11:00 AM

How Google’s now Let’s Users apply Machine Learning to Google Analytics…

What if you could predict which visitors to your website were most likely to make a purchase within the next seven days? What if you could go one step further and predict how unlikely active users are to revisit your site or app in the next week? Thanks to a new update for Google Analytics users, you can!

For your convenience, this article is equipped with quick links to allow you to jump directly to the content you need most. 

1. The Google Suite of Tools (Overview)

2. What can Predictive Audiences Do?

3. How to Make the Most of Predictive Audiences

4. How to Specialize in Online Marketing

5. Forming your Digital Strategy

What are Audiences in Google Analytics and Google Ads?

To cover the supreme power provided by Google Analytics, we’d need an entirely different article. To sum it up, the Google Suite of marketing tools is vast and offers a wide variety of insights into search trends, your website audience, and gives you all you need to create content to reach them. For those new to Google Analytics and Google Ads, the sheer number of resources and insights can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you have no real experience with these kinds of analytics tools.

Google Ads provides keyword insights, lets you know where your website visitors are coming from and allows you to get a better understanding of how impactful your content is by seeing how much time people are spending on each page of your website.

Google Ads allows you to buy ad space at the top of the first few pages of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) by bidding on specific keywords you know people are searching for.

“Google Ads is a product that you can use to promote your business, help sell products or services, raise awareness, and increase traffic to your website. Google Ads accounts are managed online, so you can create and change your ad campaign at any time, including your ad text, settings, and budget.” – Google Support

To simplify interactions and maximize reach, Google has had “Smart” options built into many of their tools for quite some time. For example, Google Ads allows you to create “Smart Ads” where users simply add a variety of headlines and various content options for multiple ads. Google will then manage the ad using what it knows through machine learning about your target keywords, audience, and goals, to create a series of ultra-ads. It mixes and matches the options provided by users to find the ad that has the highest probability of success.

Illustration of a Machine learning by reading a book on AI to demonstrate Google's advanced AI

Similarly, Google Analytics allows users to define and create custom audiences using preconfigured audience definitions. One such audience type includes a “Smart List” option that allows the platform to manage the audience for you. A few other audience options that Google offers are:

  • All Users- Includes anyone who has used your site or app

  • New Users- Any users who have conducted only one session on your site or app

  • Returning Users- Any users who have been on your site more than once before

These audiences can be used to track visitor behavior, keyword interactions, and hyper-target your Google Ads. Any and all of these audiences can be managed via the Audience Builder.

What are Predictive Audiences and how do they work?

In the Audience builder, Google Analytics has begun suggesting new predictive audiences! These audiences go beyond the general and template audiences by predictive audiences based on behavior like buying or churning. The new option currently allows targeting based on the following four behaviors (though it is likely that these options will grow in the future):

  1. Likely 7-day Purchasers
  2. Likely First-Time 7-day Purchasers
  3. Likely 7-day Churning purchasers
  4. Likely 7-day Churning Users

Google collects massive amounts of data at any given time from the majority of internet users. Machine learning has likely been a tool used “under-the-hood” to optimize ads and audience analytics. Now, the power of this data is at your fingertips! You might say that Predictive Audiences are Google's "Smartest Audiences" to date.

What Do Predictive Audiences Mean to Your Business?

Building an audience in the past was considered a good way to try to reach those who prefer online shopping and added products to a shopping cart but abandoned the cart (a huge issue for e-commerce websites). Your audience may have been designed to try to get them to come back. The problem was that this type of audience completely missed people who never added an item to their cart but could have been still likely to return and make a purchase in the near future.

By using Predictive Audiences, you can better understand which customer actions on your site may lead to purchases so that you can streamline your efforts to find more people likely to convert to a sale! Imagine being able to reach these people directly to encourage a return visit through a personalized message in Google Ads!

Next-Level Digital Marketing

The advantages of Predictive Audiences are nearly endless to a savvy marketer who constructs a solid marketing plan and marketing strategy but to those trying to run a small business or have little to no experience and are just looking for ways to promote their products or services, it can be hard to see the practical application beyond what is mentioned above.

Although not everyone is a super sophisticated social media marketer or specializes in email marketing, online retailing, and using various marketing channels, we all are (in our own ways) content marketers. We may not realize it, but if we do business online, we actually do specialize in online marketing through various digital channels.

Thanks to Google’s Machine Learning Algorithms, Predictive Audiences further allow you to automatically share these custom audiences with Google Ads accounts linked to the property. Consider going far beyond your traditional marketing efforts of advertising, because Predictive Audiences can be used in advertising products, craft remarketing campaigns to convert those on-the-fence buyers, and even start re-engagement campaigns to bring back those who may not be considering coming back to your website or app.

Reminding your customers of your value in terms of your competitive advantage or offering special offers and discounts is a great way to “win” them back, or keep them coming back for more. The newest update is a fantastic way to do just that! Just make sure to take some time to understand how and why it all works before jumping in (and if you need some clarification, Global Reach offers free consultations).

Illustration of a digital Marketer who understands all digital platforms

Take your Digital Strategy into the Future with Global Reach!

We live in extremely unique times. Never, in the history of the internet, has there been a greater opportunity to grab your target audience’s attention through proper digital marketing, keep it, and convert it to loyal customers. This requires a solid long term digital strategy with a holistic approach that considers all forms of digital media from your website to your social media.

Contact us for a free consultation and see why the team at Global Reach is your one-stop-shop for all things digital strategy! From web design to Google Ads, we are the partner you have been looking for. What are you waiting for? Contact us today to see how Global Reach can give you the competitive advantage you’ve been missing!

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